Review: Earth Star by Janet Edwards

Review: Earth Star by Janet EdwardsEarth Star by Janet Edwards
Series: Earth Girl #2
Published by Harper Voyager on August 15, 2013
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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three-half-stars

18-year-old Jarra has a lot to prove. After being awarded one of the military’s highest honours for her role in a daring rescue attempt, Jarra finds herself – and her Ape status – in the spotlight. Jarra is one of the unlucky few born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Derided as an ‘ape’ – a ‘throwback’ – by the rest of the universe, Jarra is on a mission to prove that Earth Girls are just as good as anyone else.

Except now the planet she loves is under threat by what could be humanity’s first ever alien contact. Jarra’s bravery – and specialist knowledge – will once again be at the centre of the maelstrom, but will the rest of the universe consider Earth worth fighting for?

When I read Earth Girl, I loved it SO much that I paid extra to order the UK copy, released much earlier, of Earth Star. I, of course, didn’t read it before it was released in the US, but I’m totally okay with my financial decisions because the US cover is horrid. As part of my mission to finish more series, I decided the time had come for the Earth Girl series, since I bought the third book, not yet out in the US either, while I was in Amsterdam. Earth Star reminds me why I loved Earth Girl, but also makes me question my past self sometimes.

The romance between Jarra and Fian remains my very favorite thing about the series. They got together and established their relationship in Earth Girl. At that point, they began Twoing, which I guess is a more formalized version of going steady, involving a contract. By Earth’s laws, couples have to have several Twoing contracts before they can marry. It’s pretty rare that I see couples get together at the beginning of a book or series and work through the kinks as the story progresses, but that’s very much what happens here.

The biggest obstacle in their relationship is Jarra. In a reverse of the classic trope, she’s constantly trying to convince Fian that he should dump her for his own good. Fian, however, will not stand for that and is doing everything he can to convince Jarra that he’s not going anywhere and that she’s well worth any sacrifices or danger to him. Her issues stem from her insecurities about being a Handicapped, one of the 1/1000 people born unable to live off of Earth. The two fight and work through their issues. I also completely love how unsentimental Jarra is, except for one scene where she’s suffering from some major wounds and probably on pain killers. Fian’s definitely the romantic of the two, very open about his feelings, and always trying to get Jarra to share her feelings with him. I just love their dynamic.

I also love that, despite the characterization of betas as promiscuous or deltans as prudes, ultimately the series is very sex-positive but very commitment-positive too. There are examples of all sorts of relationships, from the casual to the intense, that go well and poorly. There’s no right way to relationship and I think that comes across really well. Also, I think Edwards is my sort of people, given how unsentimental all of the couples are when they’re together—this is not limited to Jarra and Fian. Of course, I think this only makes me ship the romances more.

Depending on what you liked about the plot of Earth Girl, you’ll either like Earth Star much more or a bit less. I say that, but I’m still torn. For most people, I think, though, that should hold true. Earth Girl focused heavily on the minutiae of her astrological work, and, though it fascinated me, I could see it dragging for a lot of readers. Earth Star centers on the first alien contact in the form of a mysterious sphere above Africa. It’s all about the military trying to figure out how to deal with the sphere. It’s details of another sort, I guess, but there’s a lot more variety of location and character.

The fact that Jarra is called on to be one of the major players in handling this, even though she’s 18 and Handicapped was hard for me to accept initially, but I think that it does end up working. Jarra’s very level-headed and has a natural talent for command. She’s uniquely trained and has been honored with a military medal. They choose her for a whole lot of reasons and it makes sense.

Much as I love Jarra’s badassery, I liked seeing another side of her in Earth Star. There’s an accident which ends up leaving her emotionally scarred. The resolution of these fears was not, I think, handled in the best way, since she sort of recovers by magic. However, I do appreciate how understanding everyone was about her reaction and the idea that trauma can happen to anyone, so people really shouldn’t be shamed for it.

What bothered me consistently in Earth Star was the writing. I’m not sure if Earth Girl was different, due either to American editing or simply a change in the style for this one, or if I just didn’t notice, but I don’t remember having this problem. There’s a severe overuse of exclamation points, in both conversation and third person narration. There’s also a lot of giggling from Jarra and, while I like that she’s not a stereotype, I got really sick of both and I just don’t know that they fit with the rest of the voice.

Despite being surprised by the writing, I did still quite like Earth Star and am not regretting my purchases. These are fun science fiction novels with an amazing ship, which is good enough for me.

Favorite Quote:

“You’re a Major. I’m a Captain. You can push me around all I like.”

I frowned. “Didn’t you get that last bit wrong? You said I, when you meant you.”

He laughed, “I said exactly what I meant, Jarra.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif ender's game smile

One response to “Review: Earth Star by Janet Edwards”

  1. Kayla Beck says:

    I’m like you – I bought this from the UK ages before it came out but never got around to reading it then. Right when I was ready to read mine, my house flooded, so now I have to order the damn thing again from overseas. (I will not have the American cover in my house.) But anywho, you have me wanting to read it. Maybe I can get it on Kindle…
    Kayla Beck recently posted…Review: Bringer of Light by J.R. BolesMy Profile

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